The products that you use to wash and wax your car will have a significant impact on how long the paint on your car looks nice. If you use products containing certain ingredients, the clear-coat can fail and leave your car looking terrible. So, what ingredients should you find by reading the labels on each product? What should you be looking for to protect the finish of your car and what should you avoid using at all times? These and many other questions about the care of your car's paint can be found right here on my auto body blog.
Road salts, such as magnesium chloride, and constant exposure to moisture can introduce corrosion into every seen and unseen nook and cranny on your vehicles. Worse, this corrosion can go unnoticed for lengthy periods of time if you don't take time to look for it, thus resulting in costly damage that is difficult or impossible to repair. That is why prevention and early intervention are the keys to slowing or stopping winter-induced corrosion.
Below are several tips that can help keep your fleet vehicles rolling for a long time.
Frequently wash and rinse your vehicles
Though it's probably not unexpected advice, washing and rinsing your fleet on a frequent basis during winter is one of the best things you can do to prevent corrosion. The good news is that you don't have to perform a full wash each time; a simple rinse using a high-pressure gun and warm water can do a lot to dissolve salt and dispose of harmful substances.
However, when washing your vehicles, be sure that you focus on the underside of the vehicle first and foremost. Wheel wells, bumper openings, chassis components, and exhaust system equipment are a few of the most vulnerable areas. If your fleet consists of mostly light passenger vehicles and you don't have easy access to their undersides, be sure to invest in pressure washing wands that are able to get underneath cars and passenger trucks. Making these frequent washes easy on your crews will help ensure they are properly conducted and are effective.
Apply cavity wax to seal vulnerable spots
Some areas are difficult or nearly impossible to clean on a regular basis due to location or lack of access. That is why an application of cavity wax will help ensure your fleet is protected in these more vulnerable areas. Sprayed mostly on the underside, cavity waxes are able to seep into areas where salty water might otherwise reach. Cavity wax should be applied before winter strikes and after your vehicles have been thoroughly cleaned, and be sure to use formulations that are appropriate for your equipment.
Apply bar and chain oil to the underside
Another time-honored method of preventing corrosion from eating up vehicles is the use of oil as a barrier. While any oil will technically work to prevent corrosion, bar and chain oil is a good choice due to its sticky properties. This will keep the oil in place and prevent it from being quickly lost. Never use old oil or other potentially harmful petroleum-based products, as these can cause damage to the environment or possibly even your fleet.
Regularly inspect for corrosion or damage
Vehicle inspections are important for catching problems before they advance past the point of no repair. These inspections should be conducted using bright lighting and in conditions where it is easier to spot corrosion or other problems. Intervening early will help you identify and fix corrosion before it becomes an expensive mess.
Keep vehicles sheltered whenever possible
While it isn't always possible, sheltering vehicles in dry, snow-free conditions will also help minimize the amount of corrosion. That means parking them on concrete slabs with roofs or awnings will go a long way toward guarding them from harm. If you are able to shelter only a few vehicles at a time, consider rotating your fleet to distribute wear over a longer period of time.
Clear vehicle drains to permit water to exit
Vehicles of all shapes and sizes contain drains that permit trapped moisture to exit enclosed areas. These drains are located on the low end of components, such as the bottoms of doors, steps and other areas where water can accumulate. However, these drains can also clog with road salt, water deposits and other debris; that is why it is beneficial to periodically check and clean these drains. If you aren't sure where they are located, consult service manuals that provide diagrams and help you pinpoint such drains.
For more information or assistance, contact services like Florida Truck & Trailer CO.